Over the weekend we went out to Vancouver Island to make bubble hash from our excess cannabis harvest. It was my first attempt at making concentrates and as you can see in the how-to video, I learned a lot with each successive round. Here are all the steps involved in converting your cannabis bud or trimmings into bubble hash for high concentration hits.
WHAT IS BUBBLE HASH?
Hash or hashish is the extracted trichomes of the cannabis plant, where trichomes are the sparkly, sticky stuff on your herb that give it potency and flavor. The bubble part refers to the agitation process we use to extract the trichomes, which involves an ice water bath and lots of mixing.
To make bubble hash, we’re only using ice, water, and cannabis—there are no chemical solvents involved. We also use agitation and filtering equipment to extract those trichomes. This method is the best way to preserve the terpenes in cannabis and extract pure hash with a delicious flavor.
HOW TO USE BUBBLE HASH
You can vaporize or smoke bubble hash by itself, or mix it in with dry herb, tobacco, or butters to further enhance your hit. The effects are much more intense than regular cannabis because of the purity, and just a small piece of hash goes a long way.
Try breaking off a small chunk, mixing it in with your dry herb, and packing it into dosing capsules. This creates even heating and means you can use bubble hash with a vaporizer geared primarily for dry herbs like a Fury Edge.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR DRY HERB
You can use either dry cured or fresh frozen herb, cut up nice and small. Dry cured bud or trimmings is the most common choice. If you’re desperate for some hash straight from your fresh harvest, give it at least 48 hours in the freezer for the trichomes to unstick. I don’t recommend using fresh frozen herb if you live in a warm climate as the material can heat up during the extraction process and diminish your yield.
9 THINGS YOU NEED TO MAKE BUBBLE HASH
Here’s what you need to make bubble hash at home:
- Dry cured or frozen cannabis (bud or trimmings)
- Bubble hash machine (agitator)
- Bubble hash bags (filters)
- Pressing screen (for drying)
- Two clean buckets
- A cold metal spoon
- Several bags of ice
You can improvise with your choice of agitator. People use anything from a hand mixer or electric mixer to a paint stirrer. But you’ll get the best efficiency and yield by far using a heavy duty agitator like a portable washing machine. Regardless of yield, the potency will be the same however you agitate it.
I used a Bubble Bag Dude washing machine style agitator which comes with four filtration bags (220, 120, 73, and 25 microns) and a 25-micron pressing screen which costs around CAD $215 all up.
HOW TO MAKE BUBBLE HASH
There are three main steps to this process:
Step 1. Agitate the cannabis in ice water using a bubble hash machine
Step 2. Filter the liquid through 120, 73, and 25 micron filter bags
Step 3. Transfer the bubble hash to a pressing screen and dry out
Before you begin, throw your metal spoon in the freezer and prepare a workspace with a tap and sink, and lay out your pressing screen on some cardboard.
STEP 1. AGITATE THE CANNABIS IN ICE WATER
1. Fill a 220-micron filter bag with ice and cannabis, close it up securely, and place it in a clean bubble hash machine. If you’re agitating by hand, put your plant, ice, and water directly into a clean bucket (filter it through a 220-micron bubble bag later).
2. Put some extra ice around the outside of the bag and cover it with a little more water. Aim to fill your machine just under the low water mark, so if any ice melts it won’t overfill your tub when it churns.
3. Let your cannabis cool in the ice water for 10-20 minutes. This will get the trichomes super frigid so they’ll fall off easier during the extraction.
4. While you’re waiting, grab a bucket and stack the other bubble bags inside, with 25 at the bottom, followed by 73, then 120 micron filters. This gives you different purities of bubble hash. (I only kept the 25 and 73 micron bubble hash in the end as these were the highest quality, but try out each end product and decide for yourself.)
5. Once your ice mix is ready, agitate like you mean it. Set your machine on maximum intensity for a 10-15 minute cycle, or if you’re doing this by hand, get cranking. Keep in mind you’re not trying to make a hash smoothie—you just want to knock the frozen trichomes off the plant. So aim to agitate, not blend.
6. When you’re done, let the mixture rest in the machine for 10 minutes to allow everything to settle. If you’re following my method to the letter, this is the time for a sneaky vape. Just not with bubble hash (yet).
STEP 2. FILTER AND COLLECT BUBBLE HASH
1. Transfer your 220 filter bag from the machine into a clean bucket and wring out all the liquid. Set this aside for more extractions later as there’s still a lot of magic in it. (If you agitated by hand, this is the time to drain your bucket through the 220 filter and set that filter aside in another bucket for round two.)
2. Use the drain pipe on your machine to empty the bubble hash liquid into your filtration bucket, hitting the 120 micron filter at the top of the stack. Rinse the hash down off the sides so it all collects in the center. This is how you extract mostly trichomes with THC and other good tasty stuff with little to no chunks of plant matter.
3. Pull the sides of the bag down the bucket to create a flatter surface, and use your metal spoon to scrape off the material. Transfer every last bit onto a 25-micron pressing screen. A piece of cardboard underneath helps to wick away the moisture while it dries.
4. Now return to your filter bucket and do the same for your 73 and 25 micron bags: rinse, flatten, scrape, and deposit. You should find the amount of bubble hash increases as you move down the filter bags.
5. Repeat the whole process at least twice more, agitating as hard as you can to boost the yield. Your perseverance will be rewarded!
STEP 3. DRY YOUR BUBBLE HASH
1. Use a cheesecloth or muslin to press out as much water out as possible before you set it aside to dry on a non-stick surface. I put mine in front of a fan to dry out overnight.
2. In my how-to video, you’ll see I dried it out on the pressing screen and the hash got really stuck on the surface. Use a better alternative for overnight drying like parchment paper or silicone.
3. Once it’s dry, transfer it to the freezer. It’s best not to leave it drying at room temperature for days as this risks growing mold.
It was actually a lot easier to make bubble hash than I thought, at least in terms of the agitation and filtering process, and I had quite a lot of fun tweaking the experiment and seeing increasing yields.
There is definitely some devil in the detail though. One important tip is to consider what you’re using to make your hash. If you put garbage in, you’re going to get garbage out. If you put fire in, you’ll get fire out.
Here are a few final tips:
- Temperature is key. Keep everything as icy as possible throughout the whole process, as this frees up the trichomes for extraction.
- Stack your bubble hash bags in the right order: smallest to largest. If you reverse the order by accident, you’re going to get batch contamination.
- Bubble hash is a concentrate. It’s much stronger than bud alone, so if you’re new to hash, start conservative with your dosing.
If you watch the video you’ll see my very first attempt at making bubble hash, and in doing several rounds it was a pretty good learning experience. The hash we made still vaped nicely and had a good flavor despite the residual plant matter.
If you’re into this idea, I definitely recommend you make bubble hash at home. It isn’t a difficult process, and now that I understand some of the finer details, I can’t wait to try it again.
Keep it green, Keep it sneaky.